In 2007, the Albion College science complex was awarded silver certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. The science complex includes Palenske Hall, Putnam Hall, and Norris Center, all constructed in 1969 and totally renovated in 2005 and 2006, and Kresge Hall, constructed in 2005. In 2007, the science complex was only the third science facility in the state to have earned LEED certification.
Below are some of the key features that resulted in the silver LEED certification:
The site plan for the science complex renovation and expansion project focused on minimizing ecological effects during construction and renovation, as well as integrating the building into its surroundings.
An equivalent acreage to the building site is preserved at the Albion College Whitehouse Nature Center. This area is protected from future development in order to foster natural wildlife habitats.
Landscaping around much of the complex utilizes native species, encouraging wildlife habitats and requiring less water and maintenance.
The reflective roof coating reduces the “heat island effect” around the building.
The parking lot is equipped with recharging stations for electric cars.
Parking preference is given to those who carpool to campus.
Bicycle racks and shower areas are available to encourage those who commute by bike.
Exterior lighting was chosen to reduce light pollution.
Water and Energy Efficiency
The science complex was designed to use 30% less energy than a comparable building, lowering energy costs by an estimated $150,000 annually.
Biofiltration swales and an underground storage water system enable the complex to retain 25% more storm water easing the burden on the City of Albion’s storm sewer system.
Gray water is harvested and used for watering greenhouse plants.
Electrical consumption is reduced by a sensor-driven lighting control system and demand/control ventilation and heating or cooling. When spaces are unoccupied, lighting is turned off automatically, ventilation resets to minimum rates, and air temperature is allowed to fluctuate within a specified range for greatest efficiency.
Indoor Environmental Quality
Maintaining a high level of indoor environmental quality was a high priority in the facility.
The buildings are filled with light: more than 90% of regularly occupied spaces in the science complex have windows with views of the campus or atrium.
During construction, preventative measures were taken to maximize cleanliness of the air system and to keep materials dry.
Volatile organic compound (VOC) sensors monitor air quality and increase outside airflow when satisfactory levels are not met.
Low VOC sealants, paint, and carpeting were specified for the building interior.
Smoking is prohibited in the building.
Innovation and Design
The science complex showcases sustainable building practices and promotes environmental stewardship.
“Green housekeeping” procedures have been put in place by Albion College, and have become the campus-wide standard.
With solar electrical panels, solar water heating, and a wind turbine, the project is modeling alternative energy sources and how they can be used.
Five LEED-accredited professionals served on the design and construction teams.
Materials and Resources
The science complex more than doubled LEED requirements for use of regional materials and recycled content during renovation.
Sixty-seven percent of construction debris (more than 1,600 tons) was recycled and diverted from landfills.
Minimizing fuel consumption and emissions, 88% of materials traveled less than 500 miles to the Albion College campus.
Recycled products totaled 27% of all materials used.
Rapidly renewable materials such as linoleum and cork were used as flooring for the atrium and laboratories.
Wood products for the doors, wood trim and lab casework were harvested from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council which promotes sustainable forest management.
Trees that were removed from the site during construction were milled and used in the atrium staircase.
Recycling is required in the building.
The Albion College Sustainability Council will provide leadership in the wise use of natural resources and stewardship of ecological systems by identifying, enacting, disseminating, and rewarding environmentally sustainable practices.
To encourage sustainability within and beyond the campus, the Sustainability Council will:
Serve as an advisory body to the Office of the President on issues pertaining to sustainability.
Promote coordination between campus and community organizations on sustainability issues.
Investigate initiatives for sustainable practices.
Implement the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment.
Provide a forum on and disseminate information on sustainable practices to the campus and community.
Recognize and celebrate achievements in sustainability and sustainability education.
Join us today in planning a greener tomorrow!
American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment
In May 2007, Albion College President Peter T. Mitchell signed the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, which pledges Albion to strive for carbon neutrality by decreasing our carbon footprint. The agreement is also supported by current President Donna Randall. Albion is one of more than 600 colleges and universities nationwide that has signed the agreement. In October 2009, Albion's Board of Trustees adopted a set of guiding principles in relation to this commitment.
U.S. Green Building Council
U.S. Green Building Council is a 501 c3 non-profit organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. Albion College's science complex was one of the first science bulidings at a Michigan college or university to receive a silver or higher LEED rating.
Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation
Game, now a graduate student at the University of Michigan, developed an environmental education program for area schoolchildren at the College’s Whitehouse Nature Center and also helped lead a student team that received a $10,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a campus program on energy consumption and conservation.
Tauzer organized numerous environmental action programs on campus, including Green Day and Step It Up 2007, and she founded the Brit Bike Library. Tauzer also received a 2008 National Wildlife Federation Fellowship and, with National Science Foundation funding, conducted an urban ecology research project in Baltimore during summer 2009.
The Grounds Department has been a campus leader in green initiatives. Thanks to the Grounds staff's efforts, Albion College recently received state recognition for its water and soil conservation programs.
Lawn and Landscape
Installation of high-efficiency lawn sprinkler system. The sprinkler system uses Weather TRAK to collect ET data and predicts moisture loss in the air. This means grass is only watered when needed.
Use of NatureSafe, a natural and organic fertilizer
99% of leaves are mulched into the grass around campus. This saves ½ pound of nitrogen a year. Went from throwing away 700 cubic yards of leaves to only 7 cubic yards
Use of only biodegradable oil for landscape equipment, lawn mowers, etc. Terresolve
Raising landscape plants. Landscape flowers on the south side of Bobbitt Visual Arts Center were all grown in our greenhouse from seeds.
An Albion College education. It's hands-on. It's the liberal arts. It's career readiness. It's providing you the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need to succeed in college, in your career, and in your life.